For anyone who has to report to the CEO about the effectiveness of the company intranet, knowing how to move forward can be extremely difficult. Measuring success is a challenge in practically all aspects of business, but it's far more difficult when you're dealing with subjective ideas rather than firm statistics. Unfortunately, social intranets tend to be more subjective. You can quantify the percentage of employees who have filled out a specific piece of paperwork, but it's harder to prove that the intranet is operating at peak performance.
Unfortunately, the answer doesn't involve pouring over a mountain of statistics.
Anyone familiar with web analytics knows that statistics don't always show the full picture. For example, while an unending number of page views can look good, a deeper analysis might prove that most of those views came from spam robots and should not be counted at all. More often than not, statistics alone do not accurately represent what's happening, and this is especially true when it comes to your intranet software platform.
Let's say you've put a lot of work into streamlining your social intranet and are ready to look for a measurable change in activity. You've segmented the community into the right amount of spaces, created the best possible content, and are constantly combing-through to ensure the organization doesn't suffer when new content is added. In effect, you're doing everything possible to increase intranet engagement and push it in a forward direction, yet when you look at the statistics, you're shocked to see the appearance of failure.
Don't panic. Chances are, things are going just fine.
The fact is, page views don't mean much when it comes to intranet usage. Just because someone visits a page doesn't necessarily mean that they've taken in any of the information presented. You'll be closer to the truth when taking into consideration the amount of shares and "likes" a piece of content receives, but even those metrics are poor representations of overall intranet success.
Many people can get frustrated with the fact that statistics aren't necessarily accurate when measuring intranet usage and effectiveness. It can be difficult to compile a report for the CEO, because understanding what makes a great intranet requires more time and patience than this. The good news, however, is that poor statistics are typically nothing to worry about, and there are other ways understand how your intranet is performing.
For now, let's leave statistics out of the equation and consider other means of determining the effectiveness of your intranet usage; especially concerning page views. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to look at how the intranet is performing, many of which are more interesting than click count statistics. Putting these into a report for the CEO may seem challenging, but it doesn't have to be as long as you have a strong handle on your social intranet.
Other than page views, here are a few ways to measure intranet engagement:
A company intranet that is properly designed and maintained can be a powerful thing. Success in anything takes work, and your social intranet is no exception. Indeed, putting in a little extra effort to ensure that your community is properly set-up will benefit you greatly, and doing so won't require you to hire new employees or take on a great deal of additional tasks.
When streamlining your company intranet usage for success, and putting together a successful report for the CEO, don't hesitate to put the following tips into action:
Statistics are useful in many scenarios, so it's not surprising why people rely on them so heavily. This being said, stepping away from viewing statistics as the be all, end all of measurement will help you put together a more well-rounded case for the effectiveness of your social intranet. There's no better way to impress the CEO, and no better time than now to switch gears.
Tim is a co-founder and president of Axero and the author of his forthcoming book, Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Break Down the Invisible Barriers to Employee Engagement. He's spilt insightful ink on the pages of Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur.com, CNBC, Today, and other top publications.
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